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Wisconsin gets grant to implement new suicide prevention hotline number

February 15, 2021 1:12 PM | Anonymous

Wisconsin Health News

Wisconsin has received a grant to help develop an implementation plan for 988, a new calling code that will launch next year for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 

The $171,701 grant from Vibrant Emotional Health, the administrator for the national lifeline, will fund a coalition organized by the Department of Health Services to establish a system to ensure everyone in the state has direct access through the number to trained counselors.

“A three-digit calling code will open the door for more people to seek the help they need, while sending the message that healing, hope and help are happening every day,” said DHS Interim Secretary Karen Timberlake. 

The new calling code is expected to launch July 2022. The coalition will start meeting in April, with a goal of having a draft of the plan completed by August and the final plan by the end of the year. 

The coalition will ensure statewide coverage for 988 calls, sustainable funding and that call centers will be able to handle the current and projected volume of calls. They’ll also look at how to market the helpline. 

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